We recognise that catering operations can have a huge impact on the environment and we are committed to delivering services that are environmentally sustainable.

We aim to promote healthy and sustainable initiatives in all areas of our business, from purchasing all the way through to delivering services to our students and other customers. We are always looking for innovative ways to reduce our impact on the environment and have held focus group meetings with students and other customers to look at ethical foods and sustainability.

Our Freestyle Machines have saved this many plastic bottles (and counting)

Percentage of our coffees now sold without a paper cup

Number of re-usable coffee mugs sold (and counting)


Sustain It re-usable cup scheme – We have implemented Coca Cola Freestyle machines that allow customers to use their re-fillable cup

Sustain It re-usable cup scheme – We have introduced a 20p tax on disposable coffee cups to encourage people to use re-usable mugs.

We have removed all plastic straws from our operations

Hydration Map! – We have identified water points on Whiteknights and London Road campuses where you can fill up your bottle for free, click here to see our Hydration Map

Fair Trade

The University of Reading has pledged itself to a Fairtrade policy, as part of the many criteria we agreed to fulfil for the future of Fairtrade on our campus. For more information please visit the Sustainability website


Our outlets currently are leading the way in recycling with rates above the University target and our Central Kitchen reaching rates of 89% recently. We currently recycle paper, card, tetra paks, oil, left-over food & trimmings, plastic bottles, cans and lots more smaller items. We have achieved Gold in the Universities & Colleges Green Impact Awards.

For more information please visit the Sustainability’s website


Food waste from catering outlets on campus is collected by the University approved waste contractor from our 240lt wheelie bins.  The primary disposal process for the University’s food waste is anaerobic digestion. The collected food waste is used in anaerobic digesters to produce renewable energy. Approximately 100 tonnes of food waste recycled via Anaerobic Digestion on campus per year.

Organic waste material is stored in an oxygen free environment in the presence of a population of anaerobic micro-organisms. In this anaerobic environment, biochemical reactions occur that convert organic matter into methane rich biogas and nutrient rich digestate. These biogases are used to produce renewable energy. The digestate is a nutrient rich liquid or sludge which is used to produce fertilizers.


We use Freerange Eggs and source the majority of our meat from the UK.


Our kitchens are all Marine Stewardship Council Awarded so all fish products meet higher standards of fishing with a particular focus on marine conservation & sustainable fishing. You can find out more at www.msc.org


As far as possible we source produce from as locally as possible through our Greengrocer. Seasonal produce is used throughout our menus to help keep our prices are reasonable as possible. The University also safeguards the National Fruit Collection in Kent which contains thousands of species, you can find out more information at www.nationalfruitcollection.org.uk


Our state-of-the-art Central Kitchen is any budding chef’s dream! There are no conveyor belts or production lines, just a dedicated team cooking up lots of tasty home-made food. A large proportion of our cakes, soups, sauces, salads, desserts are lovingly hand made by the team. All these foods are free of any strange additives and help cut down the food miles to your plate. Many of our outlets have achieved the Eat out, Eat well award as well as our whole business being accredited by the Vegetarian Society. Find out more at http://www.westberks.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=25352 and www.vegsoc.org


Our bars follow the code of practice set by the British Institute of Innkeeping, a trade group committed to driving up standards in pubs, bars and other outlets that sell alcohol. Find out more at www.bii.org


We source our milk from a local supplier and in addition to this the University is a Dairy Farmer itself, with a large herd of cows.


Cooking food is energy intensive whether at home or eating out. Our outlets use modern and efficient equipment reducing the amount of energy required. We use a variety of technologies to take this further such as heating Park Eat using outside air with Air Sourced Heat Pumps (basically collecting lots of small amounts of heat and squashing it to make it hot). We have been busy installing LED lighting across our outlets to reduce energy consumption by around 95%. Our bar areas are using state-of-the-art chilling equipment reducing energy use by up to 90% in some cases. The University is Carbon Trust accredited for being committed to reducing Carbon Dioxide year on year.